Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An After-Christmas Gift for Your Hump Day

Happy Hump Day

I mentioned last week that I was going to do something a little different this week. Before we get to your hump day funnies, I want to share a little something from my Christmas.

As far back as I can remember - and that goes pretty far back - we always had tinsel (or icicles) on our Christmas tree. It was the only decoration that we considered 'disposable'.  The last thing to go on and the first to come off, and be thrown away, before all the other ornaments were packed away for next year.

But a few years back, when it was time to decorate our tree, I discovered most stores had stopped selling tinsel. No one we talked to was quite sure why. Probably a health hazard of some kind, another one of those things I've used or done for most of my life that has now been deemed unsafe. So there would be no tinsel on our tree. There would be a lot more ornaments, though. That was the first Christmas after my dear mum-in-law had passed and we had brought her Christmas ornaments home to add to our own.

Not surprisingly, all of Mama's ornaments were very old and very well cared for. Most were still in their original boxes. But there was also something wrapped in several sheets of tissue paper. I carefully unfolded the paper and discovered...tinsel. About two boxes worth, I guessed, each strand carefully laid out and saved from previous years.

We used Mama's tinsel that year, and saved it for the next. I've since found a store that still sells tinsel and I bought several boxes but they remain unopened  For now I use Mama's, and I take the time to remove each strand after Christmas and return it to the tissue paper wrapping for next year. It reminds me of her, and it also reminds me of how easily we throw things away. We've become a disposable society. It's easier to discard what's old or broken or would take too much effort to save. Things, relationships, people. 

Mama knew it's important to save what we have. To care for, repair, and cherish. She left this knowledge for us, wrapped in tissue paper. to be opened and remembered every year. I thought it was a gift worth sharing with you.

And since it's hump day, here are a couple funnies for you.

Yeah, you knew he was gonna do it.

I read that no word in the English language rhymes with month , orange, silver, or purple.

You're trying to think of words that rhyme with these, aren't you?

Does anyone else find it odd that three of these words are colors? 

Here's an interesting sign.

Oops, you just did, didn't you?

That's okay, here's another one.

Okay, enough of this nonsense, let's get to this week's "aw".

Here's something a little different.

You liked the loving squirrels a couple weeks ago. How about a pair of loving owls?


Okay, I hope you're over the mid week hump and good to go for the weekend. 

And just for my own curiousity - does anyone else still use tinsel on their Christmas tree?
 See you next week.

Quote for Today:

"Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense."    ~ Mark Twain 


Mark Koopmans said...


Oh my gosh.... I hadn't thought of tinsel in DECADES, but remember how we used it every Christmas while I was growing up in Dublin.

So *great* that you've kept your Mama's old tinsel and what a unique way of keeping her memory alive :)

PS... Have you ever read Wesley the Owl (Fantastic book if you want to know about the love affair of an owl :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Back in the day when everything wasn't disposable. Yes, people saved tinsel. Glad you found your mother's and a store that still has it.
And still trying to think of words that rhyme with those words...

Julie Flanders said...

I love the tinsel story! What a special Christmas gift you have there. And I love tinsel on trees too, so pretty.

How cute are the lovebird owls?? So sweet! <3

Maria Zannini said...

That sounds so much like your mom to save her tinsel. God bless her.

I stopped decorating the tree with tinsel when I caught one of the dogs pulling them gently off the tree and eating them.

I wasn't going to take the chance with my babies.

Linda G. said...

We used tinsel on our trees when I was growing up. Used to drive my mother crazy if we "clumped" it too much--she liked it evenly spread out.

Love the aws, but where's the groan? ;)

Stacy McKitrick said...

My mother liked tinsel, and it was pretty, but I found it a pain so I never bothered with it. If you asked my kids, they'd probably wonder what the stuff was! Haha!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Love Twain's quote. When I was growing up, we always saved the tinsel from year to year. I haven't put it on my own tree since I had kids. the little ones like to eat that shiny stuff.

mooderino said...

I wonder why they stopped selling tinsel. Shortage in the tinsel mines?

Moody Writing

Robin said...

We have become a disposable society. Your tinsel story was an excellent example... and it was heartwarming. Thank you for sharing!!!

Carol Kilgore said...

My mom kept her tinsel, too. She also kept the plastic bags from the produce section. She washed them and put them in the kitchen window to dry. She reused them for everything we would use Baggies for today. Only she washed them after each use and used them until they fell apart.

LD Masterson said...

I'm trying to comment via my phone from the bowling lanes waiting for my grandson's match to begin, so please forgive any typos.

Mark - I don't know that book. I'll have to look for it.

Alex - If you come up with any rhymers, let me know.

LD Masterson said...

Julie - Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed.

Maria - Luckily, none of our dogs have ever been tinsel munchers.

Linda G. - Same here. No cluming allowed.

Mike Keyton said...

Of course we keep our tinsel. Stays in the carpet for years. Seriously though, we do. One of the best parts of Christmas is decorating the tree with tree ornaments friends have given us over the years. Better than Christmas cards. EAch one brings back a memory.

Ref those colours and rhyme challenges, Bob Dylan would have no problem. He's brilliant at creating rhymes from words slurring into another half-word. If you get what I mean.

LD Masterson said...

Stacy - It is a pain but the tree just doesn't look finished without it.

Susan G/K - Guess I was lucky, neither kids nor pets ever thought it looked tasty.

Mood - that must have been why.

Robin - Thanks

Carol - Mama also washed and reused foil. Waste not, want not.

LD Masterson said...

Mike - Was Bob Dylan speaking English? How could you tell?

mshatch said...

I suspect that people don't use as much tinsel because it is such a health hazard to cats who like to play with it and then eat it (duh). I don't do tinsel anymore for that reason.

mshatch said...

oh, and those owls were so damn cute!!!

Arlee Bird said...

It sounds so tedious to remove and save all that tinsel. We used to just leave it on the tree and discard it all together. Okay, so we weren't the most ecologically aware family in the world, but back then I think a lot of people were like that.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

LD Masterson said...

mshatch - That's a problem I don't have. No cats.

Lee - Yup, that's what we used to do. That's why I was so surprised to find Mama's stash.

Liz Fichera said...

Oh, my. Your tinsel story has me all choked up. Thanks for sharing...

Mason Canyon said...

We haven't used tinsel on our tree in years. But this year we thought of it and wished that we still had some. There's just something about tinsel that reminds of our youth. :) Love the photos.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Maybe thirty years ago, I bought several boxes of tinsel on sale after Christmas, but they've never been opened. Why? Because we, too, have a large shirt box filled with used tinsel that we've put on one strand at a time... and removed one strand at a time... for more than 40 years.

LOVE the lovebird owls.

LD Masterson said...

Liz - Glad you liked it.

Mason - We always had tinsel on our trees when I was a kid. I guess that's why the tree never looks finished without it.

Susan F.S. - So you knew all along. I was just late coming around on this.

Morgan said...

Hahaha!!! Those signs made me LAUGH. And owls? YES. And lovely story with your mother. I think this generation doesn't appreciate and take care of things as much...

Murees Dupé said...

Your mother-in-law sounds like an amazing person. She could see the value of everyday items, which most of us take for granted. My family and I have this bad habit of simply stuffing our decorations back into their boxes, not using any finesse at all.

Murees Dupé said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Holden said...

Wow, I had no idea that tinsel was so hard to find in stores anymore. I think it's so sweet how you still use your mother-in-law's tinsel! Speaking of that owl pic. Too cute! said...

I refuse to believe that nothing rhymes with "month." That's so much more bewildering to me than the color words having no rhyme. I will be trying to think of words that rhyme with "month" for months on end.

That huge dog and tiny cute photo made me laugh. It's adorable.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, LD.

Tara Tyler R said...

we used tinsel growing up too. love your heartfelt story - so special!!

and thanks for the fun funnies!

happy friday!

Maryann Miller said...

I loved the story about the tinsel. What a neat surprise for you to find your mother-in-laws carefully saved tinsel.

We always used tinsel on our trees when I was a child, and we saved it from year to year. I remember how tedious it was to take each strand off and lay it in tissue. How neat that doing that now for you brings back good memories.

Loved the Hump Day funnies, too.

Kaye George said...

I distinctly remember when we stopped using tinsel. It was after I saw one of the cats streaking through the yard at top speed, ears laid back, with a long strand coming from his behind and flying in the wind behind him.

My family, growing up, used to save it, too, but I always threw it out and bought new.

Robin said...

Just wanted to let you know that I dedicated something to you on the HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY post. I hope you like it:)

LD Masterson said...

Morgan - I didn't get many comments on the signs. Thanks. Glad you liked them.

Muress - She was. Truly amazing. I'm pretty careful packing away our Christmas decorations, especially the ones the kids made when the were little, but I never thought to save tinsel before Mama showed me I should.

Heather - I haven't tried to find it for a couple years but I was truly surprised when it went from being everywhere to nowhere so quickly.

Robyn - If you come up with a rhyme, please let me know.

Tara - Thanks. Happy weekend.

Maryann - The tedious part was what used to make me throw it out and buy new every year. Now I use that time to remember.

Kaye - I've never had a tinsel-eater in the family. Maybe dogs are less attracted to it. But I can see how that event would cause you to stop using it. What a sight that must have been.

Robin - Thanks. I'm heading there next.

Cate Masters said...

I think they banned tinsel after people didn't remove it from their trees, and wildlife choked on it. :( I found some made from aluminum twists that look almost as pretty, though not quite as delicate!

Millie Burns said...

A year ago or so, I found tinsel at Walmart...not sure if it's still there. What a great little story though, and a reminder that yes, we need to keep things (relationships,etc), fix them, reuse them, save them.

Pk Hrezo said...

That was 9 points on the Aw Scale for me.
And yes we use tinsel! Always have. But when I was a kid, we saved the tinsel in plastic baggies and reused them. I just bought some this year at Target. It was hard to find, but they had it. And of course I saved it for next year once I took it off the tree. (Mom trained me right.)
When my Granny died I took her aluminum Xmas tree and all her ornaments and when I was single, that was the tree I put up every year. Now that I have a family, we use a different tree but I always hang Granny's vintage glass ornaments and the heirloom plastic ones and they're always my favorite. They get extra special care, and they're the most unique ones on the tree.

LD Masterson said...

Cate - Makes sense. Even when we didn't save it, I always knew enough to strip it off the tree.

Millie - Yup, something we need to remember.

Pk - We now have both my own mom's and my mum-in-law's ornaments and they receive very special treatment. I hope to hand them down to my kids, along with mine, someday.

Lexa Cain said...

Sorry I'm so late this week. I loved the story about tinsel and your mother-in-law. So sweet. I also loved the doggy & kitty pic and the "Aw" was adorable! It is weird about those un-rhymable words, huh? Have a great week!

LD Masterson said...

Lexa - Love to have you come by any time. You have a great week, too.

Emilyann Girdner said...

What a very sweet story about the tensil, LD. I love when you surprise with one of your personal stories because they always are very touching. Also loved the funnies.

LD Masterson said...

Emilyann - Thank you. I'm delighted you enjoyed it.